‘If Sterling didn’t have pace, he’d be playing for Exeter’

first_imgVinnie Jones has told talkSPORT Raheem Sterling’s wastefulness in front of goal is a ‘worry’ for England ahead of their World Cup semi-final against Croatia – saying the Manchester City forward ‘would be playing for Exeter’ if he didn’t have his lightning-quick pace.Sterling has faced criticism from some quarters over his performances so far at the World Cup.He scored 23 goals for Man City last season but is yet to find the net for the Three Lions in Russia, having wasted a number of glorious chances to score, including two in the 2-0 quarter-final win over Sweden.However, many recognise his contribution to the team and their run to the last-four. The 23-year-old is always on the move and his forward runs scare the pants off defenders, while freeing up space for his England team-mates. 2 2 Harry Maguire scored England’s first goal against Sweden GETTY center_img Sterling was one of the players whose decoy run allowed Harry Maguire space to score from a corner against Sweden Yet, there is no mistaking the Three Lions’ need to be more clinical when they face Croatia for a place in their first final since 1966, as Jones pointed out on Monday.Speaking on the Alan Brazil Sports Breakfast, the FA Cup-winning footballer-turned actor said: “I know there’s been a lot of criticism for Sterling.“He is getting in all the right positions, but sometimes you look at Sterling and you think, if he didn’t have that pace he’d be playing for Exeter or someone.“It’s a bit of a worry. For me, Vardy would have scored. He would have knocked that one in over the top, he’s got a great touch. I’m a big Vardy fan, I think he would have scored a couple against Sweden.”Jones had more praise for defender Harry Maguire, who scored his first England goal in Saturday’s victory over Sweden in Samara. The Leicester City centre-back has been one of the Three Lions’ outstanding stars in Russia so far, and Vinnie believes he is good enough to have played in any of England’s best squads over the last few decades.“Maguire has been absolutely magnificent,” the former Chelsea and Wimbledon man said.“He could have played alongside Tony Adams, he could have played in any decade really. He passes it well and every set play he’s so dangerous.“And I’m so pleased for Pickford,” he added. “He’s been absolutely brilliant.“What we need now is for Dele Alli to step up. He scored the goal and got away with it [against Sweden]. Sometimes a goal covers up stuff and Dele has not played well yet.“We need a good Dele Alli to step up against Croatia, he’s going to be in there with Modric…”Tune into talkSPORT for LIVE commentary of England v Croatia: Wednesday July 11 – Kick Off 7PM BSTlast_img

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